The Anabaptist-related church communities of Japan are largely safe, according to Takanori Sasaki, chair for Japan Mennonite Fellowship (JMF), following the enormous earthquake and tsunami that hit the country on 11 March 2011.
The church communities are scattered across Japan, most of them away from the quake’s epicentre.
According to Takanori, however, communication with a house church in Hitachi city was cut off. The community is located on the east coast in the Fukushima region, the area hardest hit by the disaster and the location of the most troubled nuclear power plants.
Takanori indicated in a 12 March email that Hitachi was not hit by the massive tsunami that followed the quake. Hitachi is about 220 kilometers south of Sendai, which is near the quake’s epicentre, and approximately 100 kilometers from the Fukushima power plants.
Japan is home to five Mennonite, Mennonite Brethren and Brethren in Christ groups. They count a total baptised membership of about 3,000 in 70 congregations.
Churches and congregations across Japan are working to bring comfort and relief to victims of the devastating quake and tsunami.
Mennonite World Conference (MWC) is a global community of Christian churches rooted in the 16th-century Radical Reformation in Europe, particularly in the Anabaptist movement.
Today, more than 1,600,000 believers belong to this faith family; more than 60 per cent are African, Asian, or Latin American. MWC represents 99 Mennonite and Brethren in Christ national churches from 56 countries on six continents.